"HELMSLEY, or Helmsley Blackmoor, is a market town, in the parish of its name, in the wapentake of Ryedale, north riding, 218 miles north of London and four north-east of Kirkbymoorside; situated in a valley called Rhidale or Ryedale, on the side of the river Rye. The town is neat, and the houses being for the most part built of stone, and slate roofed, have a clean appearance. It had formerly a good trade in the manufacture of linen and cotton cloths, but this has dwindled into a little linen weaving, which with the corn trade, and that for the sale of regular and common necessaries for the use of its inhabitants, constitute the traffic of the place. The edifices for divine worship are the parish church, three chapels for dissenters, and a friends' meeting house. The church is dedicated to St. Matthew, and the living is a vicarage, in the incumbency of the Rev. George Dixon; the patron is Lord Feversham, of Duncombe park, a beautiful seat, one mile west of the town. Here is an excellent grammar school, and one upon the national system; the master of the former is the Rev. Thomas Simpson, and the latter is ably conducted by, Mr. John Rhodes. The country round here is fertile, and the scenery partakes both of the bold and picturesque character. The market is on Saturday; and there are four annual fairs, viz. in May, July, October and November, for horned cattle, sheep and horses. The population of the whole parish, in 1821, was 3,458, of which number 1,520 were inhabitants of the town."
Pigot's National Commericial Directory for 1828-29
by Colin Hinson ©2007